I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

A journey beyond mainstream to rebel music

Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (kiramdear) » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:27 am

You sure have something there, Daniel, perhaps now classic metal is just in its nascent stage, just waiting to be picked up and embellished by the next generation of seekers.

15 years was about the same amount of time that fifties' pop music sounded ****** and corny to the world after it waned. And look at it now :mrgreen:
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (Ric O'Sound) » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:00 am

kiramdear wrote:You sure have something there, Daniel, perhaps now classic metal is just in its nascent stage, just waiting to be picked up and embellished by the next generation of seekers.


Thanks, Kira. Well, I'm not holding my breath :lol:

Funny thing though...I've noticed that the video game "Guitar Hero" has done an awful lot to expose younger folks to 70s and 80s rock. And the positive response from the kids has been rather surprising.

Just a few weeks ago, my nephew came bragging to me how he mastered "Lay It Down" by Ratt on his X-Box. He said it took him weeks, but he finally beat it. And he said, "Man their guitarist rocks!" I said, "Great job. But remember you only had to deal with five buttons. Imagine what it takes to play that song perfectly on a real guitar."

So now, as of mid November, he's started taking real guitar lessons. I'd been trying to talk him into it for years with no success. But what I couldn't do, Guitar Hero managed to accomplish. Combine that with the fact that kids are getting exposed to (and actually liking) old school rock through this game, I think it's a great thing.

So maybe you're right Kira. Perhaps it is just a matter of time.
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (kiramdear) » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:13 am

What a thought! :mrgreen:
Image

You know there was a lot of bashing of sixties' music after the day until the late eighties when it was revitalized. I felt just like you do now in 1986. So never give up hope! :D

Does this cheer you up?

I thought not. How low can the banner of heavy metal dip? Surely we're ripe for some clever usurper to hand it back to us again the real way it should be done.
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (whojamfan) » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:12 pm

[quote/]When I think back on how hard all of us in the band had to practice a lot of that material in order to pull it off live (we did 50/50 covers and originals) and how we all dedicated endless hours to honing our vocal chops in order to nail 4 and 5 part harmonies perfectly (without the benefits of an Eventide or a VoiceWorks Pro like bands have at their disposal today), I realize that I'm a better musician for having performed this type of music. And then I regularly read here how it all gets dismissed as garbage. I just find it a bit disrespectful and believe these statements are made by people who've never had to perform this kind of music live on stage, where you only get one chance to get it right and there's no Copy/Paste button on the guitar to fix your mistakes like in Pro Tools or Sonar.[/quote]

A classically trained musician such as yourself, who put in all of the time with vocals and arrangements, must have been frustrated by the watered down charicatures of your scene that were charting at the time. How many bands did you play with or know of that blew these guys off of the stage, but for some reason or other didn't make it? I believe it is true for all genres, and one has to dig deeper in to any style to find stuff that really cooks.

The early 90s was really a time of bad music in all styles that dominated the airwaves IMHO. From Milli Vanilli to Vanilla Ice to Warrant and Poison, it seemed that commercial aspirations came before the music and everyone was just trying to cash in. Music had become a product to go along with your Big Mac, and it seemed it was just getting worse. The inspiration to pick up instruments was dwindling, and video/computer games were steadily gaining interest amongst young people.

Then, to everbodys surprise, this scruffy kid from Seattle pops up out of nowhere playing something the average person could relate to, without all of the overt chauvanism of the "hair metal" that was in the charts. Songs like "Cherry Pie" and "Unskinny Bop" were out of touch with a listening audience who now had to deal with HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and STDs in a way they never had to before. Listening to men dressed as women boasting about all the women they were having casual sex with had become incredibly boring and irrelavant.

Unfortunately, this killed a lot of great bands that may have had something to say and could play circles around the chart toppers, but the scene was no longer profitable by the industry, so bye bye it went. Many of these musicians threw the Aqua-Net in the trash, cut their hair, and tuned their guitars to drop D. Many of these musicians tried their hands at the new "grunge" scene that MTV had labeled this new brand of music that was so popular.

It was about this time that managers and record labels were no longer interested in signing bands to developement deals. If you were lucky enough to get signed, your album had better have a song that charted, or you were replaced. Good A&R people were replaced by inexperienced hipsters that were trying to cash in on the flavor of the week. These folks had a shelf life of 6 mos on average, and were heavily pressured in to finding the "Next big thing". The "grunge" scene had sandbagged the industry because they were out of touch with what the public wanted to hear, and were instead trying to manufacture the next hit with a scene that they thought would last forever.

So, what does all of this mean? Anything on the radio should not define the genre it is labeled. There are always other bands who are better or more "genuine" to the cause than the ones who get the MTV cable series. There were some great "hair metal" bands out there, it's just nobody but a handfull of people know about them. The same is true for any genre. Proof of this, IMHO, are the Fastbacks from Seattle. Been around since 1979 playing poppy/punk/metal/60s/whatever with more energy and technical brilliance than anything that came out of that whole Seattle "Grunge" scene. I've seen them live in LA numerous times, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more melodic and energetic guitar player than Kurt Bloch.

I'm not gonna toot my horn here, but will just say that my statements are based on my personal experiences and observations. My opinions, of course, are just that, and not meant to offend anyone, or downplay the importance some of the groups I have named to any fans of theirs.
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (kiramdear) » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:17 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful post. :D

Thought I'd mention that About A Son is a deep and non-controversial movie about Kurt's life delivered through his own eyes and in his own words. I really enjoyed it and boosted my understanding of his life.
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (Ric O'Sound) » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:07 pm

Hey Mike,

First off, I'd just like to say that I appreciate your taking the time to elaborate on things. Collecting your thoughts and putting them in writing to post here certainly wasn't a two minute act. Besides, you (or anyone else, for that matter) don't owe me any kind of explanation for anything. Which is why I think it's pretty cool of you to have posted your thoughts.

I can't say that I disagree with a lot of what you say. Yes, it was frustrating at times, especially when you know deep down inside that you possibly could have been a lot more successful if you'd been given the proper chance. We were blessed with two excellent songwriters in the group I truly thought our originals could stand up to anything that was playing on rock FM radio at the time. Although we were pretty successful in the region with a lot of supportive fans, bad decision making on the part of our management (and on our part, to a degree) ultimately prevented us from moving on to bigger and better things. I was truly in it for the music and if teasing my hair and wearing an earring was going to keep me playing, well then I was gonna do it. (heh, I had a prettier hairdo than my girlfriend back then :lol:). Our deal with management was such that we had to look the way they wanted us to look and there were certain (arguably banal) songs that we were required to cover. I didn't care at the time...I was young and happy we were allowed to play 50% originals. I just enjoyed playing what I thought was good music. But I think we all knew even back then that the whole melodic glam metal thing wasn't going to last forever. And I'd be lying if I said I was sad when I finally threw my can of Aqua Net in the trash.

Looking back on all of this 20 years later, it's easy for folks laugh and ask "how could you look like that?" or "how could you play those songs?" (and I do get that a lot). Yeah, the look was cheesy, but at the time it was perfectly acceptable...hair metal was all over MTV and no one thought twice about it. But as time passes and music evolves, your perceptions change. What was cool then seems silly now.

I guess what I was really trying to say is that I shouldn't have to be ashamed of having played music that I enjoyed, believed in and worked hard at...or be ridiculed for having looked a certain way which back then was just "part of the show". It's not like I look anything like that today (heaven forbid). You may not particularly like that style of music, but sweeping statements labeling everything in that genre as junk seemed a bit unfair to me.

Kira,
I bet when you posted that photo of your little figurine, you never in your wildest dreams imagined that it would develop into something like this :)
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (kiramdear) » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:43 pm

Daniel, I was just thinking that very thought. This has turned into a great thread.
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (whojamfan) » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:03 am

Daniel,

Anybody that says you should be ashamed of anything that you have done from your heart and enjoyed are the ones that should be laughed at. Too many people only dream of following their hearts, and try to make light of those who do. You did what you wanted, and sounds like you had a great time doing it, so who really cares what these "critics" have to say.

I really don't try to make generalizations about any genre of music. There are good and bad in all styles, and usually, the "less than spectacular" groups seem to be the ones you hear on the radio, IMHO. I grew up on the Sunset strip and Hollywood music scene, and have many friends from all styles of music, including whatever non offensive title I can place upon the music that you did. The problem I had was the stuff that was rammed down our throats, not the genre underneath, that had better bands who didn't get the chance to chart for whatever reason.

People that are amazed at the cover songs you did should go see any bar band. Chances are, Mustang Sally and Roadhouse Blues are in the setlist(yuk). The bar band I was in played many songs I would never listen to at home, but the name of the game is to make people buy drinks, not have Mike play his favorite songs. God knows if I did that bar would be empty in 3 minutes-haha!

The earlier comments I made about a period of time where the worst music was made was meant to include all of that synthpop and other stuff in the charts at the time. I personally wish I grew up in the 60s, at least the popular music was better then. Later, I realized that there is always good music from any genre at any time, you just have to look for it.

Have I said anything you don't already know? Probably not, but just wanted to clarify that I don't set out to generalize genres of any type, and am only referring to what the media hands us as the "definition" of any set genre.
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (winston) » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:01 pm

What a great thread. Very thoughtful posts and many good points made. Personally Nirvana was like a breath of fresh air in a very stale room for me and I am over 50 and under 60 (just)............. :lol:
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Re: I don't normally do this kind of thing ...

Postby (Bighouse) » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:45 am

I'll be turning 50 in a month or two and "Nevermind" is one of my favorite albums, so is "Never Mind the ..."

I amuse my young students in class when they come into my office hours and I have something streaming from Youtube like "Gogol Bordello" or "SemiPrecious Weapons" or "The Dresen Dolls" or "The Cliks" or "King's X"...people with so much grey in their hair aren't supposed to like the stuff kids these days think are their own styles of music are they?!?

I'll never forget a show I once saw locally years ago the lineup included "Victims Family" amongst other local bands...in the crowd was a much older man, clearly in his 70's who danced and moshed more than anyone at the show and I thought to myself that there's someone who leaves himself open to new music in life. (I did later ask some of the regulars to the club and yes, the man was in his seventies.)

I love the Beatles, but I love to mix it up too! (Nice statue- shouldn't he be holding a Mosrite?)
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